These Are the 6 Makeup Brands That Basically Every French Girl Swears By

When it comes to natural-looking, understated makeup, French girls know exactly what they’re doing. And considering the country’s centuries-old ties with cosmetics, fragrance, and makeup, it’s no wonder. While the rest of the world has spent the past 10 years learning how to contour, create a cut-crease eye look and "bake,” French girls have stayed true to their roots, choosing to ignore the new norm and stick to the no-fuss, low-maintenance (but seriously chic) makeup looks they’ve always known and loved. 

Frankly, we’re here for it. Forget full-coverage bases and eye shadow creations that take half an hour to execute. French-girl makeup champions glowing skin with natural texture, a healthy-looking flush and just-bitten lips.


(Image credit: @TAMARAMORY)

The good news is it couldn’t be easier to achieve. Not only is the signature French-girl look wonderfully low-maintenance, but it also helps that some of makeup’s biggest brands have come straight out of France, meaning there are a plethora of products that make executing the impossibly chic look surprisingly easy. Keep scrolling for the best French makeup brands out there as well as the tips and tricks French girls always use.

1. Chantecaille

Best for: fresh-faced glow


(Image credit: @CLAIRE_MOST)

When it comes to French cosmetics, it’s rare to find a brand that has stuck to its guns and remained independent. Chantecaille began as a family-owned brand that puts natural and botanical ingredients at its core. Way before clean beauty was even a thing, Chantecaille was championing plant extracts and floral ingredients in its products to deliver healthy-looking, glowing results. If you’re after a natural-looking glow, buttery pigments and a fresh-faced no-makeup result, Chantecaille is a go-to.

Shop our favourite Chantecaille products:

2. Dior

Best for: a classic lip


(Image credit: @SLIPINTOSTYLE)

You might believe Dior makeup stands as little more than a piece of beauty hall furniture, but we can assure you that some of the best products out there come from this iconic French brand—most notably when it comes to lipsticks. Channel French-girl vibes and pair a bare face with a strikingly bright lip. It’s oh so chic and oh so simple.

Shop our favourite Dior products:

3. By Terry

Best for: easy application


(Image credit: @LEASY_INPARIS)

If you’re a fan of the glowing, low-key results of YSL’s cult Touche Éclat, By Terry products will likely be a hit, considering the brand founder, Terry de Gunzburg, is responsible for creating the now-famous illuminating pen in 1992. After working as international makeup designer at YSL Beauté, de Gunzburg went on to create her own brand, By Terry. Renowned for its foolproof products, glowing bases and ultra-nourishing formulas, if you don’t consider yourself a makeup aficionado, this brand has you covered.

Shop our favourite By Terry products:

4. Guerlain

Best for: a classic look


(Image credit: @FRANNFYNE)

Guerlain is perhaps one of the oldest French makeup brands out there, with the fragrance house being founded in the early 1800s. However, in true French fashion, its classic products have proved timeless over the years. From seamless powders that give porcelain finishes to velvety foundations that leave skin looking virtually flawless, Guerlain does classic base products like no other.

Shop our favourite Guerlain products:

5. Chanel

Best for: no-fuss colour


(Image credit: @SABINASOCOL)

You didn’t think we’d do a French makeup round-up without mentioning this one, did you? Chanel has come to represent all of the finest things about French beauty. A combination of chic, luxe packaging, lightweight formulas and easy-to-use innovations makes Chanel every French girl’s makeup dream. And just because the traditional French aesthetic leans towards a more natural look, that’s not to say colour is totally out of the question. From diffused smoky eyes to rosy lips, Chanel is your go-to for subtle, fuss-free colour.

Shop our favourite Chanel products:

6. Sisley-Paris

Best for: makeup with skincare benefits


(Image credit: @MELODIEBANCE)

Sisley-Paris may be best known for their luxurious plant-based skincare products, but their makeup collection is equally as impressive. Think: sensitive eye-approved eyeshadows, hydrating lipsticks, and hyaluronic acid-infused foundations.

Shop our favourite Sisley-Paris products:

This story was previously published at an earlier date and has since been updated.

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Freelance Beauty Editor

Shannon Lawlor is a renowned beauty journalist and has contributed to Who What Wear’s beauty content since 2020. As a leading beauty editor, expert and brand consultant, she has over eight years of experience working for some of the industry’s most esteemed titles, including Who What Wear (of course), Glamour UK, Stylist, Refinery29 and Fabulous. Having also worked behind the scenes with some of the industry’s biggest brands and retailers, Shannon has a unique insight into what people really want from their beauty routines. Understanding that beauty lovers seek honest, open and responsible advice, she has it made her mission to demystify the intimidating world of beauty, taking a no-frills approach to the most relatable topics. While Shannon is the first to admit she doesn’t hold the answer to every beauty question out there, she is dedicated to sharing her expert insights in a bid to help. As a self-proclaimed lazy girl, Shannon has an affinity for easy-to-use, foolproof beauty products and has made it her mission to scope out the best of the best. When she’s not working, Shannon is likely soaking in the bath or giving no-holds-barred beauty reviews on Instagram from her bathroom floor.